Playing The Game: Managing A Company PR Crisis
It doesn’t take long in the social media world to hit a crisis of sorts. There could be a massive change in circumstances or something beyond our control but when a crisis situation hits, it can affect our brand. And regardless of how well prepared you are, you still need to ensure that you have control when there is a crisis situation. Preparation is vital but you should also think about following these approaches.
Understand How It Impacts The Business
Is it having a current and immediate impact or is it going to have a future impact on the business? Before you start to circle the wagons and react to the situation you’ve got to get an understanding of how your decisions will impact the business in the round, not just in terms of the bottom line, but in terms of your brand reputation as well. This means that as you start to cultivate an appropriate response you have to get in touch with every team to track the PR crisis on each individual channel. This is where a PR team that works with a specific industry can come in handy. For example, a company like Elite Lawyer Management works specifically with legal firms, and this type of example is just one, but you have to remember that when it comes to your individual crisis it can have a wider-ranging impact than you think. It’s not just the industry, but it is the human component that can have a devastating impact. Once you start to understand the impact of the business in every single area it can help you to investigate properly.
Calm, Compose, And Investigate
Gathering the troops will make everything easier, which can be difficult if everybody is working from home, but once you have done this you need to get the full story of what has happened. It’s important to determine exactly what happened using your connections within the business. Understanding the story from an internal perspective can help but you also need to remember how your customers have perceived the incident, especially through social media channels. It’s not just a case of being able to delete a social media post. And this is, quite often, a knee jerk reaction. In fact, the best thing to do is to understand exactly what has happened and why it has happened before you react. And yes, this may take some time, but when you start to consider how people react to a PR crisis before they get all the facts, this is, in some ways, throwing themselves to the lions.
Monitor The Reactions
Once you have composed a response you have to sit back and calmly evaluate everything. It could very well be your PR crisis isn’t a crisis anymore. What happens next all depends on how the media reacts or the communities on social media. You have to remember that it could take a few days for everything to die down, and you need to be patient at this juncture. There may be times when you have to step in and offer extra statements or reactions.
Most vitally, after such an intense time, you need to take the opportunity to learn from the process. This will help your company to understand how to avoid similar challenges in the future and balance the brand. It’s never easy to encounter a crisis but it’s a game we all have to learn how to play.
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